A Week in D.C. (Part 1)

November 8

We went back to our old stomping grounds on behalf of the Citizens Climate Lobby.  It was CCL’s semi-annual “visit” to Congress to remind them global climate change is a serious issue and it’s time to do something about it.  With 429 chapters around the U.S. (over 500 worldwide), Alexandria was among the very first local chapters thanks to Jeanne  Johnson.  (Jeanne and Ken Howell would join us from Alex two days later.)  1,600 nationwide volunteers from CCL educate Congress every June; 800 volunteers every November – in one day, in groups of 5 or so, we visit all 535 congressional and senate offices.  The Super & I have been members of CCL for several years now, but this was our first trip to educate Congress. 

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[The cab ride from the airport to our hotel passed by the Super’s old office building.  It’s the place with lots of generals and admirals.  The first two days we gave over to sightseeing . . . ]

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[Now we’re in our old neighborhood.  I lived in Arlington, Virginia, from 1974 to 2001 and worked in the Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.  The Super and I lived in the same condominium from 1987 to 2001 just about a half mile up Lee Highway from our current viewpoint here on the 15th floor of the Rosslyn Holiday Inn.  Upon arrival, we were in a “boil water” situation – a main water main broke the day before we arrived affecting a wide swath of Arlington.  We were on bottled water our first two days . . . ]

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[Our view across the Potomac River features the Key Bridge Marriott in the foreground, the bridge is on the right, Georgetown University and the Washington National Cathedral in the background, all above, and Key Bridge on the left and Washington Harbor on the right,  below.  The Key Bridge Marriott and the Rosslyn Holiday Inn were old when we lived here and both will be razed and replaced next year . . . ]

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[The connecting elevated roadway across the photo is the Whitehurst Freeway . . . ]

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[Key Bridge, connecting Arlington to Georgetown, was relatively traffic free on a Friday afternoon . . . ]

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[The spire of Healy Hall on the Georgetown University campus in the foreground; the National Cathedral in the background . . . ]

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[This is the view southeast from the Vantage Point restaurant on the 17th floor . . . ]

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[The view west to Georgetown . . . ]

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[12 Degrees of Kevin and his Bacon: We didn’t know Sue Justice was going to be in D.C.  Her 2nd visit ever since she was a small child.  She was visiting her niece, Erin, who grew up in Villard.  Erin now lives between where the Howells are staying when they come on Sunday and where Ruthie and I lived for 14 years.  Sue and Erin came to join us for happy hour.  Kathleen Hintzen of Victoria Heights in Alexandria was once the liquor manager at Key Bridge Marriott.  Our bar tender has a brother who lives in Hopkins and has visited there and Plymouth several times.  I forgot to get a photo of Sue and Erin, which explains why I have never been able to lose the “cub” part of cub reporter.  The Super staked out seating for Sue’s arrival . . . ]

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[More window views from the Vantage Point . . . ]

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[The view east and the infamous Watergate Hotel . . . ]

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[Closer upper of Watergate . . . ]

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[Best estimate – a sunset?]

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[Key Bridge at night . . . ]

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[This is more like it, a virtual parking lot in both directions . . . ]

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November 9

[Our window view in the morning . . . ]

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[Time for a morning stroll between Rosslyn and Courthouse (our old neighborhood).  We’re walking uphill on Wilson Boulevard, in our day famous for its stretch of Little Vietnam because of all the Vietnamese restaurants . . . ]

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[Looking back down the hill to Rosslyn . . . ]

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[More outdoor art . . . ]

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[The little malls in our neighborhood have not yet succumbed to the wrecking ball . . . ]

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[On Rhode Street, the street adjacent to where we used to live . . . ]

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[A post WWII complex, I believe saved for historical purposes (though interior renovations have been turned into condos) . . . ]

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[This is obviously new since our era . . . ]

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[This was the closest such mall to where we lived (down the hill to the right between the two large background buildings).  Ireland’s Four Courts was there before we left (and Ken and Jean Howell, also from Alex for CCL, dined there one night) . . . ]

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[Summers, still there, across the street from our mini-mall . . . ]

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[This was our walk home from the Metro every night.  That’s our condominium building, the Astoria, on the left . . . ]

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[Our backyard – swimming pool and clubhouse on the left, tennis court on the right . . . ]

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[The towering apartments in the background are new.  That corner was occupied by a 2-story dry cleaner.  The views of the city must be spectacular up there . . . ]

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[The Super’s condo was a patio unit (fenced) at the far end . . . ]

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[The association garden overlooking the Super’s place . . . ]

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[The Astoria from street side, fronting Lee Highway . . . ]

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[The new apartments with the city views . . . ]

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[Looking back down Lee Highway towards Rosslyn, there’s the Homewood Suites where the Howells stayed.  Our hotel was about three blocks further down the hill from the Howells . . . ]

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[Key Bridge Marriott from street level . . . ]

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[Arlington Gateway Park, constructed when we lived there . . . ]

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[Our Holiday Inn from street level . . . ]

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[It was quite cold, but the hotel roses were still alive . . . ]

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[Still in the morning, sister Gretchen and brother-in-law Mohamed drove over from D.C. and picked us up for a 55-mile drive south on the infamous I-95 to brother Chris’s place in Stafford, Virginia, on the Potomac River.  And here most of us are in Chris’s yard on obviously the river side . . . ]

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[Now an over exploitation of family photos . . . ]

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[We had not been to D.C. in six years (we had to look it up), and by coincidence at that time Mohamed had just received his United States citizenship after about 30 years of trying (it ain’t easy, folks) . . . ]

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[Papa Hemingway?]

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[The Super with Chris’s neighbors . . . ]

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[His house – it’s for sale!]

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[But it’s a raw cold!]

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[Modeling a birthday present from his sister . . . ]

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[And then we drove back to the city and had dinner at Hops in Alexandria . . . ]

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It’s almost impossible to be funnier than the people in Washington.  ~  Carol Burnett

Up Next:  More D.C.?

4 thoughts on “A Week in D.C. (Part 1)

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